Archives and Rare Books

Did you know there used to be a Barnes medical school in St. Louis?

When St. Louisans hear the name Barnes today, the century-old Barnes Hospital (now Barnes-Jewish Hospital) on Washington University’s medical campus might come to mind.  But, before Barnes Hospital came into existence in 1914, St. Louisans would have known Barnes to be the largest medical school in downtown St. Louis. 

Archives and Rare Books

Mary Allen Wilkes

In 2015, the Heinz Nixdorf Museum in Paderborn, Germany, opened an exhibition honoring women in computing. In addition to pioneers like Ada Lovelace, the museum recognized the contributions of Mary Allen Wilkes, whose work at MIT and Washington University was essential to the development of the Laboratory Instrument Computer (LINC) then on display at the  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Oppenheimer: Washington University’s connections to an American Prometheus – Part 1

Christopher Nolan’s Academy Award winning 2023 film Oppenheimer is based on Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s 2005 biography of theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. The movie cleverly compresses several decades of Oppenheimer’s life around his leadership in building the first atomic bomb and his subsequent political blacklisting during the McCarthy era. Although none are  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

A Goddess for the Renaissance

One of the distinguishing features of early modern Europe is its fascination with and embrace of the Greco-Roman past. While this is perhaps most obvious in the literary and visual arts—think of the many new editions of classical works such as Ovid’s Metamorphoses, or paintings such as Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus—medicine was equally enamored  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Color Our Collections 2024

From February 5-9, 2024, libraries, archives and other cultural institutions around the world are sharing free coloring sheets and books based on materials from their collections. On the first floor of Becker Library, you’ll find snacks, coloring books and materials, so let your inner child take over! Read on to learn more about the images chosen from Becker’s rare  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Travel Scholarships Available for Archives and Rare Books Collections Use

Bernard Becker Medical Library is fortunate to have robust collections in archives and rare books that document the history of medicine from the late 15th century up to the present. Subjects in which the library’s holdings are particularly strong include ophthalmology and optics, neurology, deaf education and the history of dentistry. To encourage researchers living  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini

Nobel laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini was born in Turin on the 22nd of April 1909. She was one of 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy, born to Adamo Levi, a gifted mathematician, and Adele Montalcini, a skilled painter. While both parents were considered highly cultured and had a strong appreciation for intellectual pursuits, certain educational  [Read more]

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